By Stephanie Martin
Risk Management Safety Specialist
McNeil & Company, Inc.
As summer BBQ’s and family get-togethers approach, McNeil & Company wants to take a moment to remind your organization that drinking alcohol and responding on calls is a large liability to each member and the organization. Now is the time to start off the summer right by making sure your organization is implementing a zero tolerance policy for alcohol in an effort to prevent unnecessary losses.
Many times members do not think about the consequences that may follow if they decide to have a drink and respond to an emergency call under the influence. Some may think, “Oh, well I only had one drink tonight, I can still respond.” Unfortunately, all it may take is that member having one drink before your organization could be facing liabilities. What your organization would want to pay attention to is the portrayal you may have to the public. If the public sees a member drinking at the local bar wearing your organization’s apparel, the public does not know how many you have had to drink. Whether you have one drink or five, the public knows you were consuming alcohol and will smell it on you.
Responding under the influence affects a person’s judgment and performance as an emergency responder, creating a risk in your organization. One error in judgment by a member under the influence can endanger the lives of fellow members as well as the general public. Take the time now to review the policies you have in place regarding alcohol consumption with the members of your organization. Ensure that each member is familiar with these pol-icies and the possible consequences if they do not comply. Let’s begin the summer off the right way by preventing unnecessary losses in your organization.